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New Report on Trends & Developments in Cloud Computing

December 29, 2021

Over the last decade, the world of computing has rapidly moved away from locally stored systems and software – servers in closets – to extensible, flexible computing through cloud services.  The Alliance for Digital Innovation believes that the move to cloud-based systems, architectures, infrastructure, and software has driven both commercial and public sector digitization and service transformation. This fundamental shift in the way we buy, access, and build our information technology is just beginning.  Many public sector and commercial systems still rely on legacy architectures, and the decades-old systems and hardware that underpin those architectures.  Those enterprises that are either not investing in cloud-based solutions or are suffering from slow, onerous migrations are being left behind as technology continues to evolve to support more modern architectures.

At ADI, we believe that digital innovation is the key to delivering secure, modern government services and providing technology at scale to drive both our government’s critical national security and citizen-centric missions.  We think that our policy makers need to understand the current developments and trends in computing and digital innovation.  That’s why ADI engaged with Brattle to conduct a deep, extensive review of the current cloud computing and associated information technology (IT) landscape. This analysis detailed in the report provides a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the trends that we are seeing in the global approach – across sectors – to buying and provisioning information technology, where cloud computing sits in the broader information technology space, and the difficultly of viewing cloud consumption in isolation from the larger IT ecosystem.  ADI is committed to investing in much needed, educational content that can help deliver a better understanding of the way that new, emerging, and cutting-edge technologies fit into the broader IT landscape.

ADI’s policy recommendations are driven by research and empirical data supporting the use of commercially available products and solutions. We would like to draw your attention to several key takeaways from the research that we believe can help policy makers evolve their understanding of modern IT consumption and use.

  • In recent years, global cloud computing spending has been growing at a much higher rate year-over-year than overall global IT spending, but total cloud spending nonetheless remains a small fraction of total IT spending.
  • Alongside the three most prominent public cloud computing providers, many large traditional IT firms, as well as a significant number of startups, have built or acquired product/service offerings in the cloud computing industry.
  • Overall, the most common IT strategies involve a combination of traditional on-premise or private IT solutions with public clouds and the use of more than one cloud service provider.
  • The extent to which multiple clouds can function together or applications are allowed to move between different cloud service providers – concepts known as cloud “interoperability” and “portability” – is an important consideration for firms. Achieving interoperability and portability can be simple or complex depending on a company’s goals and approach.
  • Cloud computing has spawned the growth of products and industries by making technology more accessible and improving flexibility and efficiency for businesses.

These findings provide a base of understanding that policy makers and agency officials can leverage as they oversee and implement the Biden Administration’s recent executive orders (EO) on cybersecurity and customer experience. These EOs call on agencies to secure their enterprises by moving to cloud based zero trust architectures and to provide modern, customer focused digital experiences for citizens interacting with the government.  Both policies will continue to drive agencies to adopt cloud-based solutions that can modernize their enterprise and mission focused information technology. This report highlights the importance of investment in cloud computing and the diverse offerings and solutions agencies can leverage.  These investments will help create a platform for agencies to capture the benefits of digital innovation and meet the cybersecurity and customer experience goals outlined in the executive orders.

ADI continues to be committed to developing research and insights to help policy makers better understand the critical drivers that underpin innovation. We are diligently advocating for legislation, best practices, and funding that allows the public sector to benefit from the rapid digital innovation happening in the commercial marketplace.

The White Paper can be accessed here: